The audacity of kindness

Let’s try love rather than torture

I want Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab to be treated with kindness and compassion, and one of my gentle readers objects. Yes, Mutallab apparently tried to commit murder, of which I do not approve. It’s just that I don’t think there’s any use whatsoever in punishing him, except to scare the rest of us and encourage the goons.

I’m curious about why Mutallab couldn’t think of anything else to do with his life but blow it up, and I think that his real motive would be useful to know before the body scans get to the gas pumps—“No Cash, No Clothes.”

Mutallab must have been trying to send a message, like Lassie used to do in the television show when Timmy would fall down another well—“What is it, Umar? Uncle Sam sucks?” Whatever his message, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t make sense, which is why I want him on YouTube, the only way we even might get at the truth. Experts say, “Be afraid. The system works.” I think that’s irony, or maybe sarcasm.

My sensitive and discerning reader says, “Far from being a conservative hawk, I am a progressive conscientious objector and pacifist, but even I cannot rationalize Umar’s egregious behavior considering he is neither impoverished nor uneducated and has no moral justification for his actions.” I’d have to ask Mutallab about that.

I may also be far from a conservative hawk myself, although I can’t be sure. Neither can I rationalize Mutallab’s behavior. Nobody can, because his behavior was not rational. That’s why we should just get him some therapy, generously paid for by Uncle Sam.

Some of the military allegedly try to win over the “hearts and minds” of the people whose countries they’re destroying, a strategy that at least requires little munitions. Now’s the time for the sleazy, greedy cowards in the federal government to show a little generosity of spirit, as unfamiliar as it is. Showing some love could win hearts and minds everywhere. Nothing else has ever worked.

I just can’t get past “Love your enemies” and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” and believe me I’ve tried. No matter what he had done, if Mutallab were my son, I would want him cared for compassionately and to get the help he needs. The guaranteed torture of his confinement will please only sleazy, greedy fearmongers and the scaredy cats who support them, and as usual that’s enough. I suppose my rational reader would say my position ruins our nation’s chance “to demonstrate our universal disgust.” Right.